Lychee and Dog Meat festival in Yulin – The Horrific festival in the Chinese calendar that needs to stop

Thursday 21st June will be the first day in a horrific 9 day festival where approximately 3,000 dogs will be tortured and killed in a barbaric and stomach churning festival. This annual festival began in 2009 and despite global outcry and condemnation it is still going ahead.

For those who haven’t heard of this festival, this is where thousands of dogs, most of which have lived as pets until they have been stolen in preparation for this so called celebration, are kept in terrible conditions before tortured and killed. These helpless creatures are kept in cramped cages covered with the blood of other dogs whilst waiting for their tragic fate.  It is believed by those who attend and host this event, that the meat of the dog tastes it’s best when it the dog has experienced an extreme level of adrenaline. So to improve the taste of the meat these barbarians torture the animals to unimaginable levels before they die. Some are boiled alive, others skinned alive or are beaten to death. It is also believed by these people, that the tortured meat could fend off illness and improve men’s sexual performance.

The official stance by Chinese authorities is that these dogs are from dog farms and are not stolen pets…because that makes this oh so much better to stomach. Dogs farms in China are not regulated and the animals live in terrible conditions. Those dogs from the farms that are murdered during the Yulin festival are transported in small wire cages full of many dogs in one cage for approx 1,000 miles. They cant move or stretch and will undoubtedly be uncomfortable and in pain. It is understood though that in reality a large number of these dogs are household pets who have been stolen and have therefore formed an attachment to humans.

Photo Credit : Google Images

Eating dog meat itself is not illegal in China, and I guess though I have a dog myself who I love like as a member of my family, I cannot criticise the consumption of dog meat, as I myself am a meat eater (not dog meat i’d like to point out). This would purely make me a hypocrite. But I completely condemn the cruelty and vulgar practices being carried out.

In 2017 there were allegedly mild attempts by the Chinese government to end this festival, though I personally doubt this wasn’t anything more than a media stunt, where they announced a temporary ban of the sales of dog meat over the period of the festival. This ban was then allegedly rescinded in fear of a riot by the traders of the festival. The Yulin government has said that as it does not officially organise the festival it cannot prohibit it. But they are uncomfortable with the global condemnation and being in the spotlight for negative reasons. In retaliation to the outcry the Chinese government suggested westerners look at their own practices such as Spanish Bullfighting before they criticise China and accused this outcry as simply a way of attacking Chinese culture. They dont seem to appreciate that public opinion in China itself is also changing and there is an increase of strong disapproval of this animal cruelty.

There is hope though, there are many organisations who visit china saving some of these dogs from their fate, The Vanderpump Dog Foundation being one of them. Celebrities such as Ricky Gervais are also spreading public awareness.  In 2015, over 100 dogs, puppies and even cats were saved by animal rights activists. In 2017, that number increased to 1,300. Evidence of the horrendous conditions were not only visible when the activists were there but 40% of those rescued in 2017 were carrying an infectious disease which had to be treated. It is also reported that year by year the number of attendees and dogs being killed are decreasing but at an unfortunately slow rate.

It is important to be aware of this festival and condemn it at any given opportunity and that is why i’m writing this blog. Public opinion is shifting and so the more pressure any of us can do will help end this horrible and unnecessary festival.

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